It’s that “most unusual time of the year” -- more so than ever before in our lives.

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Hillman Christmas Massive Missive 2021
It’s December, and we should be under a blanket of snow, drinking something hot, and thinking about Christmas trees, wrapping presents, and planning family gatherings.

But, when it’s 5C outside, and very little snow as yet, it’s hard to even sit and write our Massive Christmas Missive!

But, it’s not only at this time of the year that we think of our family and friends.  You are often in our thoughts, and we wish you all good health during these trying months due to the pandemic. All we can do is get all our vaccines, boosters, and stay safe. 

Let’s all wish for a Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthier 2022!

Ja-On and Angela’s family is back to a somewhat “normal” life with Inara and Tayla back in school instead of home-schooling.

Inara (9 years old) is into her second year of ballet and jazz classes, which she loves. She is a joy to watch with her crafting, drawing, and reading skills. Inara is following in the Hillman family footsteps with karate, testing for her red belt in Taekwondo.  Gramma Sue-On had to take her to one of her classes, little knowing that Gramma would be the “bad guy” to be tossed about by Inara!

Both Inara and Tayla are in a pony club. They are not only learning how to ride, but also how to take care of all things pertaining to their horses. They obviously have a love for animals as they have taken on some of the responsibilities of dog ownership with their Morkie Neelo.

Meanwhile, Tayla (7 years old), who was a tad leery about going back to school after a year of homeschooling, has become the social butterfly, making many new friends easily. Tayla is in her second year of competitive gymnastics and working hard on her routines for January youth competition. Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts in which she excelled, has been replaced with swimming lessons; something a little less aggressive!

Angela loves working along side Ja-On at reactive massage and building a practice with amazing clients. She has taken on more responsibility at the clinic and helps with the day to day running.  After a year of homeschooling, she is able to start enjoying some of her own activities, not the least is the addition to their family: a little Morky pup named Neelo. The whole family is learning how to navigate all things puppy, including how to puppy proof the Christmas tree this year! I think Neelo is a bit concerned with Ja’s Star Wars tree top!

Ja-On started scaling down his practice last year during the pandemic to help Angela with the homeschooling. This year with the girls back in school, he has kept the hours reduced and focused on business growth as well as building his personal online brand through various social media platforms. Hopefully, Covid will soon be under better control so he can travel again – to continue training for his speciality – Osteopathy.

Soulin & Sarah moved back to Brandon when Sarah completed her training at Wellington College. She started working at reactive massage therapy clinic with Ja-On and enjoys working with the staff and her clients. Soulin is working as a commissionaire at Shilo Armed Foces base at the moment. He is currently waiting on his medical clearance to join the air force as an Aviation Systems Technician.

Robin and Jen’s family has made the biggest changes in our family.

During the summer, they took a family vacation to Newfoundland – saw Cape Spear, Quidi Vidi, whales and puffins, amazing geology, fossils, and ate lots of delicious seafood. They enjoyed St. John’s so much that they’ve decided to move there in the summer of 2022!

But the bigger surprise was that they got married! Although they’ve been happily together for almost 15 years, they decided to get married in Ferryland, NL beside the ocean.

 Robin continues to work as a Business Analyst with Tactica Interactive. His latest project is an application that allows farmers to sell grain online. He has been working from home since March 2020.  He enjoys the newer motorcycle that Jen bought, so much so that he went on a motorcycle trip with friends to BC! He’d also  gone on quite a few Manitoba trips with friends, and one that netted him a derby prize of $500.00!

Robin also tossed this bit of a teaser for Mom, to see if I was really paying attention! “Took a week-long certificate course in rodeo clown techniques and bovine intervention" LOL!

Jen continues to work as an EA at an elementary school. Meanwhile, she had been taking and completed a college course in Human Resources, and completed a practicum at STEM Canada. The course was on-line.  Along with Robin working from home, it was a real bonus, as they adopted a puppy in Dec. 2020, small black lab/border collie mix, Jovi (Their beloved Pyrenees Kiefer sadly passed away in Sept. 2020). A lot of time has been dedicated to training and playing with her. In her “spare time”, she enjoys riding her more reliable and modern motorcycle. Her previous one was 51 years old! She has also joined a women’s recreational soccer league – still working on scoring that first goal.

Oriyen is in grade Grade 11, excelling in drafting classes in school . This was evident from her early interest and skills in drawing, digital illustrations, and now, learning new photo editing techniques. This focus will serve her well as she is interested in a career in architecture. Oriyen has been a vegetarian by choice for many years, and she continues to challenge her mom to find new and interesting vegetarian dishes.

River is Grade 3 and continues to do quite well in the French Immersion stream. She has a natural ear for music, much like her Dad, Robin, playing music and singing. Like her big sister Oriyen, River is also showing an interest in drawing. What we all love is her interest in cooking! She has started making a few dishes independently. River and Nana Sue-On have collaborated on a few dishes when they were here for Thanksgiving. Nana especially enjoyed River’s scrambled eggs for breakfast!

China & Scott just celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Dec 3rd! They are planning to have a wedding celebration next fall, hopefully with family and friends. The renovations and construction are done on the exterior of their home, so they will host the Hillman family Christmas gathering again.

Scott recently completed his Critical Care Paramedic course while continuing to work as an Advanced Care Paramedic Practitioner. He spent several days down in Omaha on a practicum for the course.

China is kept busy at Winnipeg Health Science Centre and two other hospitals as Doctor of Thoracic and General Radiology.  Both have busy schedules due to Covid, which seems to want to stay, wave after wave.

China and Scott are happy to announce a new addition to their family. Butterbean Pettitt-Hillman is a cuddly seven-month-old Golden Retriever with a big personality. Butters loves people only slightly less than he loves food. Big sister Lily, a Great Pyrenees, has been showing him the ropes and keeping him in line.

Bill & Sue-On, the elders have been safely ensconced at home and have had their Covid boosters. Now, everyone in the family has been fully vaccinated, so we were able to have an early Christmas gathering at China and Scott’s.

Bill has been dealing with medical issues, which began last year with kidney stones and a blocked ureter. It’s been a year-long process to which there hasn’t been a solution. Hopefully, the urologist will be booking him in for a new procedure soon in the new year.

In spite of all, he continues to publish his weekly fanzine for Edgar Rice Burroughs, and he continues to build on his mega 15,000-page website empire. Along with his weekly and monthly Webzines, he is still expanding the Gig Notes, Media, Music Roots and Travel Adventures sections in our music memoir: BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN: A +50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY www.hillmanweb.com/book  Much of his time this year has been spent working on three companion autobiographies which will be released in 2022. 1. The illustrated history of our Maple Grove country home 1920-Present ~ 2. Bill's memories of the eight decades from the 1940s-2020s complete with a zillion photos from our family albums and 3. SUE-ON: MY STORY: www.hillmanweb.com/mystory

Sue-On spent much of the spring and summer gardening, trying out new plants and adding more lawn ornaments. Seems my friends are always on the lookout for items that may be of interest to me! It was great to be able to see the kids and kidlets once in a while, but with this new variant, Omicron, visits will be pretty limited. We miss the international travels, but staying safe and healthy is the priority these days.

Our family photos are in a little different format this year. Ja, Angela and the girls had developed terrible colds a few days before our famly get-together. To be safe, they stayed home  -- hence the two photos.

All the Best for 2022!
Bill & Sue-On



Many more of our tall tales are spread across our main Website:
www.hillmanweb.com  ::  www.hillmanweb.com/book
www.hillmanweb.com/soos ::  www.hillmanweb.com/xmas


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